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tv   [untitled]    February 15, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EST

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we'll argue that we had a booming economy. those other assumptions i just mentioned are not any longer valid. we're still in conflict and likely to remain in conflict. so what we're doing as service chiefs is taking a look at how do we first of all pace this. and to the question, by the way, that's related to brac, if you fix too many variables on us, if you, for example, there is some physics involved. if you fix the variable called infrastructure, and if we're kind of maxed out in terms of our, literally physical ability to pass people out of the service in a dignified way, it
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doesn't leave us very many levers to pull in the middle. it's operations, maintenance, training, equipment. so that's why we're concerned about brac and it's also why we're concerned about the pace at which we separate people. once we settle on the pace, and we have, then we go internal to our systems. promotion rates, exsession rate, we have evaluation reports, board processes. but to the extent that we can use the existing processes to identi identify, we can keep the highest performing personnel. keep them, encourage them, continue to develop them. to the extent this has accelerated on us, then we get into a position where we're forcing people out. at that point, i won't be able to sit here and guarantee yo you th that we're keeping the right
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people. >> is the discussion formalizing longer periods of time between eligibility of promotion and promotion? >> the itit's a great point. and it's a rubick's cube to some extent. we twist it and turn it. they have a great deal of potential and that potential can be fulfilled. on the other hand, it's as you describe. i think it's a matter of finding the balance between talent management and then managing the personnel system to treat people with dignity and respect, but also reshape the force. >> i really appreciate that. there are concerns, there should be concerns that for many of the men and women who are serving, the fact that they would be leaving the services faster perhaps than they had ever
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imagined. means we have to really assure they have the talents and skills necessary. are we looking at that in terms of a whole different kind of preparation as they leave? it's almost a preparation as they come in so that they are leaving in a different manner. >> you asked what worries me the most. frankly, that's one of the issues i worry about the most. as we draw down over the next five year, we're going to be putting another 12,000 or more out, bringing them back. and right now, the system is clogged. it doesn't work as efficiently as it should. we've got to do a better job of being able to take these young men and women that come out and give them the counseling, give them the education benefits, give them the jobs, give them the support systems that they
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absolutely have to have in order to be able to re-establish themselves in the communities. otherwise, we are going to be dumping them in these communities, no jobs, no support, and that's why we have high unemployment now among our veterans. that's exactly what's happening. we've got to change that. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. forbes. to. >> thank you. mr. secretary, your schedule only allows me five minutes for questions. i'm going to try to be concise and help you be concise in your statements. made the statement that this deficit is the difference between talk and action. we welcome a conversation with you or the president about serious deficit reduction. we wish we could have had it before the president pushed through an $800 billion stimulus package many of us believe is ill advised and a health care bill that's putting a lot of people out of business. to answer the ranking member's question before, what wouldn't
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you have voted for, i wouldn't have voted for that $800 billion stimulus package and i would repeal the health care bill tomorrow. let's look at the approach of how we got here. wouldn't you agree if we had been more responsible handling our budget, the better approach would have been to develop a national strategy to defend the country, to be able to discuss exactly what we needed for that strategy, to determine what the resources would be in order to meet that strategy, and then come to congress and say, this is what we need to do to -- in order to do that job, to defend the country. wouldn't you have agreed that that would have been a better approach? >> congressman, the better approach, and i say this not so much as secretary of defense, but as a former omb director and chairman of the house budget committee, the better approach would have been for congress, both republicans and democrats and the president to sit down
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and develop a comprehensive deficit reduction package. >> mr. secretary, i understand that. but i'm talking as far as the strategy, wouldn't it have been a bhetter approach to do it in the manner i delineated. >> that would have been nice, but we were managed to come up with $470 billion. >> wouldn't that have been the better approach? >> of course. >> the point of fact as you mentioned, that approach wasn't what you took. we gave you $470 billion of cuts and you were forced to create a strategy that worked within the parameters of those cuts, is that kr effect? >> that's right. >> and then based on that, mr. secretary, isn't it true that it would be virtually impossible for you or anyone else testifying on behalf of this budget to delineate for us the portion of that strategy that was driven by those budget cuts versus the portion of the strategy that was driven by security changes around the world. >> i don't think you have to make a choice between fiscal
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discipline and national security. i really don't. >> no, no, no. mr. secretary, because my five minutes, isn't it true, though, as you said, you were forced to have $487 billion of cuts. you worked a strategy that worked within those parameters. but isn't it virtually impossible for you or anyone else to tell us what portion of that strategy was driven by that $487 billion of cuts versus just security changes that took place around the world. >> as i said, we would have been required to look at a change in strategy under any circumstances because of the drawdowns that were taking place. >> i understand that. >> this is not just deficit reduction. . >> we have two different components. security changes that would have had strategy constraints and budget cuts. but isn't it true, you can't delineate between those two? >> well, they were both involved in determining our strategy. >> exactly. you also mentioned the fact that thas

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